We need honesty in campaigns

Katie in a restaurant

As we head towards the local elections on May 2nd it is important that campaigning is honest and truthful. Unfortunately we’re already seeing examples of misleading statements and even completely false claims.

For example, in their latest desperate attempt to persuade people that they have any idea how to run the country, the Tories have decided to frighten people about council plans to improve neighbourhoods by managing traffic flows, making false claims about imminent road closures or other measures.

This includes sending out misleading leaflets designed to worry people who might fear that ambulances or fire engines could be delayed or that barriers could appear without consultation, which is not the case.

Tory leaflet

The leaflet plays on the fact that the city council, like every other local authority, has a duty to decide which roads in its area are part of the country’s ‘primary route network’ and which are local roads intended for local traffic. What it doesn’t point out is that this has been the policy since 2012, when the Tories were in power, and that it’s also covered by the Cambridgeshire Local Transport Plan passed by a Tory administration in 2014. The Tories are trying to stir up fears about the application of their own policies.

But making false claims, causing unnecessary worries, and denying their own policies seem to be all the Tories are capable of as they limp towards a General Election they are too frightened to call.

It gets worse. We all know that their campaign, including these expensively printed leaflets, benefits from millions of pounds raised from people like Frank Hester, who even Prime Minister Rishi Sunak admits has made racist comments about Diane Abbot MP.

The Tories have nothing to offer Cambridge, locally or nationally.